Are There Side Effects to LASIK?
Understanding LASIK Side Effects vs. Complications
When you meet with our LASIK surgery team for your consultation, our team will address the common concern about the side effects of the surgery. We share as much information as possible with you upfront about known side effects of LASIK as well as any potential complications. It is very important for us to make sure each of our patients thoroughly understands the risks and benefits of the procedure so that they can make an informed decision about undergoing LASIK.
The most important thing to remember is that LASIK is surgery. Every surgical procedure has unique risks and benefits, including LASIK. While we perform thousands of LASIK surgeries a year, we know that to you, the surgery is new and can sometimes be scary to anticipate. As you decide on a LASIK surgeon, take care to choose a surgeon that will take the time to discuss your concerns and all of the specific risks and benefits with you.
Side effects are different from complications. A side effect is something that we know may occur and is anticipated after the surgery. For example, patients may experience mild eye discomfort, such as a burning or itching feeling, following the procedure. This is a known side effect, but it is not a complication. These symptoms should subside after a few days. A complication is an unanticipated and unintended result that must be treated, such as an infection. According to the American Refractive Surgery Council, the complication rate for LASIK surgery is less than one percent—meaning complications are very rare.
Common LASIK side effects:
- Mild eye pain or discomfort (sensation of burning or itching)
- Watery eyes
- Sensitivity to light, including glare, starbursts, or halos around lights
LASIK is an elective surgery. You are ultimately choosing to have LASIK because you feel that the benefits outweigh the side effects and potential complications. You may feel that a day or two of mild discomfort is worth the result of clear vision without reliance on glasses or contact lenses.
If you have questions about LASIK side effects and potential complications, please talk to your doctor or LASIK surgeon. Our team, including nationally recognized LASIK surgeon Dr. Greg Eippert, is here to provide guidance and support as you learn about LASIK and determine if surgery is the right vision correction solution for you.